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Crafting an Unbeatable Multichannel Customer Service Strategy.

Crafting an Unbeatable Multichannel Customer Service Strategy.



Customers today use a variety of channels to resolve issues and seek answers to their questions. Therefore, it’s important for companies to create an integrated multi- ...

Customers today use a variety of channels to resolve issues and seek answers to their questions. Therefore, it’s important for companies to create an integrated multi-
channel service environment that provides customers with consistent experiences in each channel.



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    Crafting an Unbeatable Multichannel Customer Service Strategy. Crafting an Unbeatable Multichannel Customer Service Strategy. Document Transcript

    • >1TO1 IN ACTION SERIES Crafting an Unbeatable Multichannel Customer Service Strategy Delivering a seamless cross-channel support experience can enrich satisfaction and loyalty while boosting business performance Inside InContact.........................................................................4 Moving at the Speed of Customers IntelliResponse................................................................5 Achieving Excellence in Multichannel Customer Service Pegasystems...................................................................6 A Requirement, Not an Option TeleTech..........................................................................7 Mobile: The Core of Integrated Support VoltDelta..........................................................................8 Multichannel Cloud Contact Center BRANDED EDITORIAL 2
    • >1TO1 IN ACTION SERIES Crafting an Unbeatable Multichannel Customer Service Strategy c ustomers today use a variety of channels to resolve issues and seek answers to their questions. Therefore, it’s important for companies to create an integrated multichannel service environment that provides customers with consistent experiences in each channel. Consider that 74 percent of customers now use three or more channels for their support interactions with companies, according to Ovum. This means that failure to deliver on customers’ heightened expectations for great service experiences can have serious business repercussions. Today’s customer can broadcast his experience – good or bad -- to thousands if not millions of other consumers. Consider musician Dave Carroll, whose video “United Breaks Guitars” has generated more than 13 million views on YouTube. Depending on the customer’s level of influence and the amount of exposure he receives, poor customer experiences like this can have a dramatic effect on a company’s reputation and its business. On the flip side, companies that can successfully deliver consistent and exceptional support across all channels that customers use can also distinguish their brands from other rivals (think Amazon, The Ritz-Carlton, Apple). Research has shown that many customers are willing to spend more with companies that provide them with great service across channels. “Customers who receive consistent service experiences are more highly satisfied, more likely to remain loyal, and expand their relationships with a company,” says Don Peppers, founding partner at Peppers & Rogers Group. From data silo to bridge Of course, creating fabulous multichannel customer service experiences isn’t easy. Many customers have disjointed experiences with companies as they try to move from one channel to the next. A hotel customer who encounters problems booking an online reservation should expect to reach a live agent when they click-to-chat and not be redirected to an IVR system BRANDED EDITORIAL 2
    • “ ustomers who receive consistent service experiences are more highly satisfied, C more likely to remain loyal, and expand their relationships with a company.” —Don Peppers, founding partner, Peppers & Rogers Group that forces them to re-identify themselves and enter a series of prompts to find the answer they’re seeking. These types of jumbled customer experiences are often the result of poor integration between the various channels companies use to support customers or poorly designed customer workflows Various technologies are available that can help contact centers handle multichannel customer support interactions more fluidly. This includes a cloud-based contact center platform that can be used to unite disparate support channels (email, chat, social, mobile) under a hub-and-spoke type approach. This type of unified view can enable agents to assess each channel that customers have used in their journeys and draw on these insights to deliver a connected support experience that delights each customer. Meanwhile, the use of a universal queue by agents can direct customers to agents based on their skills (including channel acumen), availability, and the priority for each contact. Let’s say an agent is responding to a customer inquiry via email while a priority customer has been sent to the agent’s voice queue with a billing question because of that agent’s ability to answer these types of questions effectively. The agent can postpone the email correspondence Empowering Agents with Multichannel Customer Insights Drives Results Year over year percent change, n=487 Companies that are able to provide agents with comprehensive multichannel customer interaction data are able to achieve better business results than companies that don’t. 9% Companies providing agents with detailed multichannel customer data All others 8.9% 8% 7% 6.2% 6% 6.1% 5% 4% 3% 2% 1.8% 0.8% 1% 1.4% 0% Improvement (decrease) in agent overtime costs Improvement (decrease) in average cost per customer contact First contact resolution rate Source: “Aberdeen Group, November 2012. Base: 487 contact center executives. with the first customer temporarily while supporting the priority customer over the phone. Once that customer’s billing issue has been resolved, the agent can then return to complete his email correspondence with the other customer. These types of capabilities enable agents to work more productively across various channels while satisfying the needs of high-value customers immediately. Workforce optimization (WFO) tools and techniques can also be used to help contact center leaders predict customer demand in different channels based on behavioral data regarding the channels used by various customer segments at various times. Providing customers with exceptional support experiences across a multitude of channels can also enable contact centers to guide customers to less expensive channels to obtain support. Symantec Corp., a 2012 Gartner and1to1 Media CRM Excellence Award winner for customer service optimization, sought to decrease its call center volumes by providing customers with alternative ways to find the information they were looking for. In 2011, Symantec embarked on an ambitious effort to improve customer support from its integrated channels. This included a redesign of the company’s online support portal along with a variety of new support features that were introduced such as smarter virtual agents and intuitive online help forums. The strategy, aided by enhancement of the self-service capabilities of its online support portal, has been extremely successful and has led to a dramatic increase in both customer satisfaction and transactional Net Promoter ScoresTM for its global live support. The initiative has also reduced incoming calls to the call center by nearly 30 percent. Knowing how customers use various channels for different purposes is a big step toward designing and delivering the types of seamless multichannel support experiences they’ve come to expect. In the pages that follow, learn how developing a solid understanding of customers’ use of smartphones and tablets can be used to strengthen their multichannel support experiences. Discover best practices for achieving multichannel customer service success by leveraging a cloud contact center solution. Observe how benchmarking multichannel contact center performance can provide incredible insights that can be used to identify and act on the gap in each touchpoint with customers and build a business case for needed investments. Examine the accessibility, applicability, and satisfaction of online self-service tools to deliver a problem-free multichannel experience. Finally, find out how to eliminate the silos that prevent customers from receiving seamless omnichannel experiences. g BRANDED EDITORIAL 3
    • >1TO1 IN ACTION SERIES Moving at the Speed of Customers Agility and flexibility in the cloud Savvy contact center leaders recognize the importance of continually improving the operational efficiency and productivity of their organizations. This includes identifying opportunities to optimize agents’ interactions with customers, as well as determining how to boost first contact resolution (FCR) rates and other key performance indicators, or KPIs. But, without a yardstick to determine how well or how poorly different areas of the contact center are performing relative to competitors and best-in-class companies, it’s nearly impossible for decision makers to identify those activities that need either fine-tuning or a complete overhaul. This is a critical—yet widely overlooked—area for contact centers that are striving to support the multichannel/ cross-channel customer. Taking Action Today’s digital customer uses a variety of channels to interact with companies, including voice, chat, email, web, desktop, mobile video, self-service, and social. To satisfy and delight customers and optimize business performance, it’s imperative that companies identify the strengths and gaps in each touchpoint in the multichannel customer support experience. To help organizational leaders gain the most from assessing contact center activities, we offer some important tips for getting started: 1. Conduct a self-assessment. Before contact center leaders use a third-party service to measure different aspects of contact center performance, they should first conduct an internal assessment of operations which allows them to review performance levels in different areas (IVR, agent behavior) and identify opportunities for improvement. Quality monitoring tools (to determine whether agents are hitting their KPIs), and voice of the customer (VOC) and other types of surveys are extremely useful in determining which areas of the contact center are meeting—or missing—customers’ needs. 2. Define the organization’s strategy. Before launching a benchmarking initiative, organizational leaders must align the mission of the study and efforts achieved with the goals of the company. For instance, if a top goal is to improve customer satisfaction by five points, assessing FCR performance first makes perfect sense. 3. Establish the metrics to be measured. Some KPIs have a greater impact on your business performance than others, which makes them more important to evaluate. For example, some high-volume, cost-conscious organizations may value average handle time as a critical KPI. Many customer-focused companies, however, may prioritize FCR. Identify those metrics that matter most to your company, and prioritize them in benchmarking tests. How Does Your Organization Rate? Source: Voice of the Customer, Aberdeen Group, February 2013 4. Measure often. By measuring discrete areas of performance regularly (daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on organizational requirements), contact center leaders can both validate the data to be used for benchmarking exercises and keep a closer eye on critical areas of performance to quickly identify issues as they arise. 5. Ensure data integrity. Frequent measurement only adds value if the data measured is accurate and complete. Companies should regularly assess the integrity of their multichannel data and correct it through appropriate technologies and processes such as, data encryption, access controls, or input validation tools. Once benchmarking is in place, companies need to block out an action plan to address areas that need work. While it’s important to know how your contact center compares to others, the real value of benchmarking lies in its ability to drive improvement. n About inContact inContact helps contact centers around the globe create profitable customer experiences through its powerful portfolio of cloud-based, contact center software solutions. The company’s services and solutions enable contact centers to operate more efficiently, optimize the cost and quality of every customer interaction, create new pathways to profit, and ensure ongoing customer-centric business improvement and growth. For more information, please visit www.inContact.com Ready to benchmark your multichannel contact center? Take the 5-minute assessment. BRANDED EDITORIAL 4
    • >1TO1 IN ACTION SERIES Achieving Multichannel Service Excellence Five checkpoints to help you get there Over the past three years, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of people interacting with companies via multiple channels. The good news is that there are methodologies, technologies, and best practices today that are proven to transform the quality of the customer experience in this multichannel world. But, delivering a problem-free multichannel customer experience must first begin with getting online self-service right. If you’re among the 92 percent of companies offering a less-than-stellar customer experience, odds are the problem lies with your online customer interaction channels, and THIS is where you need to focus your improvement efforts. But how do you get there? To help you achieve excellence in multichannel customer service integration, start with these five checkpoints: Checkpoint #1—Accessibility and Availability (It all starts online) Visit your customer-facing website, mobile, and social media channels and ask yourself this honest question: How EASY is it to find your company’s self-service channel? Is it easily missed, buried behind a single-word “Help” or “FAQ” menu link, or reduced to a non-descript and generic-looking “site search” field? Answering these questions will help you assess whether or not the average customer, visiting these online customer interaction channels for the first time, would be able to spot the self-service mechanism instantly. Checkpoint #2—Findability (of Searched-for Content) When customers use your online search tool, can they easily find the information they’re looking for? The primary job of any self-service tool is to effectively deliver the right answer. This is where most organizations fall short. Customers don’t want hundreds of possible answers, or even two possible answers. They want the one right answer. Checkpoint #3—Relevancy In cases where customers do manage to find the correct answers, what happens next? Is the customer presented with other contextually-relevant information—such as answers to the next most-likely follow-up questions? Contextually-relevant content is key to creating an automated online conversation with customers that results in high satisfaction or purchase decisions. Yet, for most companies, the online channel conversation never actually gets going. Instead, it comes to an abrupt end on a nonuseful FAQ page, or in the face of hundreds of search results that customers simply choose to abandon. Checkpoint #4—Escalation When engaged in the online self-service experience, can customers easily escalate their question to email, live chat, or a contact center rep seamlessly? Initially, most customers will attempt to self-service online, but during those circumstances when the answer is not readily apparent or accessible, the ability to escalate the question should be apparent and intuitive. Proper escalation is an important element helping to bridge online self-service channels with live support. Checkpoint #5—Feedback Is an easy-to-use customer feedback mechanism integrated into your overall multichannel customer experience? For online channels, the mechanism can be as simple as a Yes/ No question such as, “Did this answer your question?” A similar rating system or short customer survey can also be implemented in the agent channel, perhaps after the phone call, as long as all data from an organization’s multiple service channels can be accessed, monitored, and acted upon. Next Steps: Begin Achieving Excellence in Multichannel Customer Service Today The five checkpoints above give you an understanding of what’s required to get on the path toward delivering “excellence” in multichannel customer service. Adhering to these five checkpoints will lead you along the path to ensure you’re meeting the expectations of today’s consumers who wish to connect with a company whenever and however they choose. n Contact IntelliResponse to schedule a no-obligation 30-minute assessment of your website’s self-service capabilities. info@intelliresponse.com 1-866-454-0084. About Intelliresponse Systems IntelliResponse provides virtual agent technology solutions for the enterprise. We create profitable online conversations for our private and public sector customers around the world, via engaging virtual agent technology that delivers highly accurate answers, captures key voice of the customer insights, and delivers relevant offers that improve conversion. To learn more about taking online self-service to the next level for your customers, visit www.IntelliResponse.com. BRANDED EDITORIAL 5
    • >1TO1 IN ACTION SERIES A Requirement, Not an Option Successfully implementing omni-channel customer service Don’t Be Fooled Eliminating Silos Social applications and smart mobile devices have fueled staggering At Pegasystems, we are helping a number of global businesses innovation, and while that innovation will continue at a breakneck on their journey to omni-channel service. They have shifted their pace, it is time to accept the fact that social and mobile are a core part approach, and their technology is enabling them to build a service of the customer service ecosystem. They can no longer be ignored, or process once and re-deploy it in any channel – Web, social, mobile… developed and maintained as independent and isolated capabilities. eliminating the silos and rework created by typical organizational and Businesses must leverage an omni-channel engagement hub system constraints. Their chosen technology puts tools in the hands that can blend social and of the business teams Omni-Channel Engagement Hub mobile interactions with allowing them to design a Omni-Channel Engagement Hub contacts from traditional customer-centric process channels such as the Web, that captures and dynamiemail, phone and even cally reacts to the nuances Goals & Inquiry Objectives mail. Don’t be fooled into of each channel. thinking that today’s techBusinesses gain massive Decisions savvy and ‘impatient’ amounts of reuse capaBest Practice Resolution consumers will ditch trability that allows them to Service Processes Analytics Process ditional customer service easily and quickly adapt as channels – phone, email, new channel opportunities Offers & Feedback & Recommendations mail…in favor of the latarise. Customers benefit Reports Data est and greatest social, as well - with the ability to Web, mobile and chat…. choose the most convenient Rather, most consumers channel and transition to are simply expanding other channels as the contheir channel use, sometimes 3 or 4 at a time for one request, in an versation dictates, without losing context and taking advantage of attempt to satisfy their demand for real-time, convenient resolutions. channel-specific features such as, cameras and locational services. The world’s leading organizations are deploying the #1 customer Effortless Transitions service solution for the enterprise. Pega solutions can help you transAccording to a recent Ovum study of 8,000 consumers from across form your service delivery so that you can optimize the outcome of the globe, more than 70 percent use three or more channels. Says every interaction for your customer and your business.n Forrester Research, Inc., analyst Kate Leggett in a March 2013 report titled, Understand Communication Channel Needs To Craft Your Customer Service Strategy, “Customers want an accurate, relevant, and complete answer to their question upon first contact About Pegasystems with a company, and they want effortless transitions across multiple Pegasystems revolutionizes how leading organizations optitouchpoints (Web, tablet, in-person, etc.) from the channel of their mize the customer experience and automate operations. Our choice (e.g., voice, chat, email, or social) without having to repeat patented Build for Change® technology empowers business themselves. “Siloed and disjointed implementations for different people to create and evolve their critical business systems. customer service channels simply don’t cut it anymore.” Pegasystems is the recognized leader in business process Much of the blame falls on the CRM applications that have not risen management (BPM) and is also ranked as a leader in customer to the omni-channel task, in fact these apps are often directly responrelationship management (CRM) software by leading industry sible for disconnected channel strategies. These solutions require analysts. organizations to recreate content in multiple repositories and require For more information, visit www.pega.com each channel to have their own self-contained processes, resulting in high costs of labor, and a slow rate of channel and device adoption. BRANDED EDITORIAL 6
    • >1TO1 IN ACTION SERIES Mobile: The Core of Integrated Support Understanding customers’ use of smartphones and tablets can strengthen the multichannel experience Consumer behavior has changed dramatically in recent years thanks to the variety of channels available to customers. Because customers often use two or more channels -- including voice, web, email, chat, mobile, and social -- to research products and brands, make purchases, and reach out for support, it’s critical for companies to provide customers with consistent experiences across all of the channels they use. In fact, an Ovum study of 8,000 consumers across the world finds that 74 percent of consumers use three or more channels when interacting with a company for customer-related issues. Simplify the Customer Experience In light of heightened customer expectations for exceptional support, customer service leaders should consistently look for process improvements, tools, and technologies that make life easier for today’s digital customers. Here are a few suggested strategies: Q A & bank leaders discover that a high percentage of high-value customers are interested in using self-service tools on the bank’s traditional and mobile websites. By optimizing the self-service experiences for this customer segment based on their needs and interests (e.g., view investment performance via mobile), bank executives can measure the impact of their customer experience improvements and how they affect key performance indicators (KPIs) such as satisfaction and profitability. Put Yourself in Your Customers’ Shoes Delivering great customer experiences starts with understanding how customers use various channels, along with the type of support and functionality they’re looking for. Because customers love to share photos and videos using their mobile devices, companies should offer these capabilities as support options. For example, a customer who purchased a dishwasher that isn’t operating properly can send a picture or a video of the machine to an agent that demonstrates how the machine is malfunctioning. The agent can then visualize the nature of the issue and brainstorm with product technicians, if need be, to find a solution to the problem quickly. n A Q Customer Journey Mapping: Understanding the customer experience to Q improve interactions. A & A Mobile App Q Customer Service: A & A In-app customer Q service solutions can satisfy the demands of mobile customers. Self-Service Technologies: Question-to-answer matching solutions offer customers one right answer. Q Mobile: At the Heart of the Multichannel Customer Journey As part of their multichannel journeys, consumers make extensive use of their mobile devices in different ways. For instance, a wireless customer who wants to use her smartphone to pay a bill but is having trouble completing her transaction may opt for a click-to-chat session with an agent who can offer assistance. Since mobile is at the heart of the multichannel customer experience, organizations need to integrate the various channels that customers use and learn from these interactions. By doing so, they can follow the thread of a customer’s journey from one channel to the next and determine the touchpoints that may be problematic to them. Gaining a 360-Degree View of Customers Collecting and analyzing customer insights across the full spectrum of touchpoints they use allows companies to fine-tune processes for providing customers exceptional support in the channels of their choice. For instance, the use of behavioral analytics and other tools can help About TeleTech TeleTech, founded in 1982, is a leading global provider of data-driven, technology-enabled services that puts customer engagement at the core of business success. The Company offers an integrated platform that combines analytics, strategy, process, systems integration, technology and operations to simplify the delivery of the customer experience for Global 1000 clients and their customers. This holistic multichannel approach improves customer satisfaction, increases customer loyalty and drives longterm profitability and growth. From strategic consulting to operational execution, TeleTech’s more than 39,000 employees deliver results for clients in the automotive, communications and media, financial services, government, healthcare, technology, transportation and retail industries. Through the TeleTech Community Foundation, the Company leverages its innovative leadership to ensure that students in underserved communities around the globe have access to the tools and support they need to maximize their educational outcomes. For more information, please visit www.teletech.com BRANDED EDITORIAL 7
    • >1TO1 IN ACTION SERIES Multichannel Cloud Contact Center R Ten requirements for success Customers are becoming more demanding about how, when, and through which channels they want to communicate with companies. They expect to have a variety of access options, as well as flexible hours for interacting with the contact center for support. Many organizations are struggling to meet these growing expectations and have turned to the cloud for a flexible, cost-effective solution. Following are requirements for multichannel cloud contact center success. Agent and Supervisor Requirements • Unified Desktop—Intuitive graphical desktop tools offered by  cloud contact center vendors make it possible to access any channel from one media bar. These tools are flexible enough to deliver multichannel intelligence to dedicated teams or crosstrained agents. They allow agents to request a supervisor, transfer calls to another agent, and other features designed to improve caller satisfaction. • Centralized Management—Web management capabilities make  it easier to manage agent pools by grouping according to geography, skills, queue assignments, and many other properties. Top-level dashboards must be able to drill down to agent level performance. Managers need access to queue group assignments and real-time queue status. •  ross-Channel Intelligence—Providing real-time information to C an agent with recorded key word, or a phrase from the automation channel prior to receiving the call is an example of cross-channel intelligence. The benefit is that an agent does not have to ask for information that was already provided in the automation channel. Captured detail also allows agents to tailor their dialog with customers and handle the call more efficiently. •  xperience—Contact center cloud vendor expertise in telephony, E network, IVR, and contact center technology is important for both implementation and ongoing support and optimization. Multiple experts in each of these areas should be part of the staff to ensure reliability. •  inancial Stability—Consolidation of the fragmented cloud conF tact center vendor industry leaves customers of these services in a vulnerable position when it comes to future investment and support of their cloud deployment. For this reason, it is important to investigate the financial stability of your prospective cloud vendor. •  calability/Reliability—The ability to instantly react to fluctuating S call volumes and provide redundant hosting facilities for failover are critical to delivering a consistent customer experience. Case Study­­­ —AccountNow AccountNow, Inc., one of the nation’s largest prepaid debit card companies, wanted to upgrade its multichannel customer care platform to more quickly and effectively engage with customers. VoltDelta’s scalable agent and automation hosted infrastructure was a key driver in AccountNow’s customer care upgrade decision. VoltDelta provided •  scalable infrastructure to answer every call which quadrupled A during peak calling times. • ntegration of voice self service with the ACD channel that includes I intelligent call routing features to support several remote agent locations, as well as provide agents with information on what transpired in the IVR. n • Customer Journey Reporting—To obtain an accurate assess ment of contact center performance, it is important to evaluate customer interactions across multiple channels as a unified experience. For example, call recording must be captured as a single experience regardless of the number of transfers such as, IVR to agent, or even from one agent to the next. Contact Center Platform Requirements • Flexibility—The benefit of cloud contact centers is that it offers  many deployment options that can change as your channels of communication expand. Ask about flexibility to add new channels, agent seats, and your choice of carriers. • Test Environment—It is important that a cloud vendor perform  rigorous quality assurance testing prior to deploying an application. This means that there should be a dedicated test facility to mimic real-world conditions. •  ecurity—A “layers of defense” foundation is required in the S cloud with people, process, and technology that persistently work to minimize risk and ensure confidentiality, data integrity, and availability of systems. Look for a PCI compliant and ISO 9001 certified infrastructure for all voice and data assets. About VoltDelta VoltDelta is a cloud-based contact center provider with 35 years of experience. We perform intelligent, data driven contact management to optimize your customer’s journey. VoltDelta rapidly tailors and integrates our multi-channel contact center solutions to enable you to increase revenue, boost retention and reduce operating costs with proven scalability and reliability. For more information, please visit www.voltdelta.com twitter.com/VoltDeltaNews youtube/VoltDeltaChannel BRANDED EDITORIAL 8
    • inContact 7730 S. Union Park Ave., Suite 500 Salt Lake City, UT 84047 866.965.7227 info@incontact.com IntelliResponse 25 Adelaide Street East, 20th Floor Toronto, ON M5C 3A1 416.214.9337 | 866.454.0084 info@intelliresponse.com Pegasystems Inc. One Rogers Street Cambridge, MA 02142 617-374-9600 www.pega.com TeleTech 9197 South Peoria Street Englewood, Colorado 80112 800.835.3832 www.teletech.com VoltDelta OnDemand 1 Sentry Parkway, Suite 6000 Blue Bell, PA 19422 866-436-1169 info@voltdelta.com For information on upcoming installments of the 1to1 In Action Series, contact: Michael Dandrea 203-989-2204 michael.dandrea@1to1.com Dara Brooks 203-989-2197 dara.brooks@1to1.com BRANDED EDITORIAL